I would like some advice on ovulation/TTC/fertility testing please. We are currently trying for #2 and so far no luck. Its hard to say how long we've been trying for – late March (6 months ago) was when we first stopped contraception, however due to a range of circumstances (hubby health issue, hubby away for work travel, and my somewhat inconsistent cycle) we've only tried at the 'right' time for 3 x cycles...

So whilst I'm not panicking yet, I am starting to question if everything is ok. DS (now 3) was a 'surprise baby', more of a failed contraception than a first attempt – but a very welcome surprise . So I'm really inexperienced at trying at all! I'm now 35 so naturally its going to be harder, and I don't want to stuff around for too long without assistance, I'd really like to conceive before I'm 36 (preferably much sooner!).

I went to my GP a few months back as I wanted to get my hormones checked (my skin was unusually bad, and my cycle, which I've been charting for over a year, was very inconsistent, varying between 21-29 days, never the same). He sent me for blood tests to rule out anything major and they all came back normal. However, I will point out that they weren't (in my opinion) very specific tests, I didn't have to test at a particular point in my cycle etc. I think he was just ruling out major problems (like early menopause, etc). He didn't seem to think I had any reason to worry just saying sometimes cycles are irregular. Gee thanks, doc! No further advice given.

I've tried ovulation test kits (twice), and found them a bit hard to use, expensive (I need 2 x kits per cycle due to my irregularity), and so far haven't given me any idea of ovulation. Ditto with my saliva tester. I just go off dates/charts.

So my questions:
  • Is there a specific test/tests I can ask my GP to do that will help determine if I'm ovulating at all, or more specific hormonal tests? ie tests that are done at certain points in the cycle?
  • What other things can I do to predict my ovulation? Am I right in thinking that just because I get a period, doesn't mean I'm actually ovulating? How do I know I'm ovulating at all?
  • How long should I leave it before I get professional advice and what are the steps i take? Given my age and how long we've already been trying?
I am otherwise very healthy, fit, no history of problems etc.
Thank you, I know 3 x cycles isn't that long but my husband travels a lot for work so its really important that I can predict my ovulation more accurately, so he can try to plan his travel accordingly. No husband around = no TTC!

Really appreciate your advice